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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/19/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
When Ireland’s all-time leading trainer Dermot Weld runs a horse – people pay attention. Not only on the Emerald Isle, but just about anywhere in the world, and especially at Arlington Park when the Mid-America Triple is involved.
Moyglare Stud Farm’s Perfect Casting is Weld’s latest Irish invader, arriving in Chicago Tuesday night with designs on Saturday’s Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s as the Triple’s middle leg.
Accompanying the chestnut son of Diesis was Weld’s longtime traveling lad Jeff Byrne, who took the colt out to stretch his legs during Thursday’s training hours. Another light training session is scheduled Friday morning, according to Byrne, with Weld arriving in town Thursday night to oversee that upcoming move.
“This horse is moving very well this morning,” said Byrne Thursday, as he grazed Perfect Casting shortly after his training run. “He had a good lick to him, so he seems to be doing everything right so far.
“The traveling didn’t upset him,” added Byrne. “He acts like he’s been here all his life. Nothing seems to bother this horse.”
Weld runners owned by Moyglare have won two of the last four renewals of the American Derby, with Evolving Tactics taking the 2004 edition and Simple Exchange winning in 2005. Also, Weld captured the 2000 American Derby with Highland Farms et al.’s Pine Dance, and finished second in 2002’s running with Moyglare’s Jazz Beat.
Earlier in Weld’s career, of course, the internationally-renowned conditioner first came to the attention of the American racing public when he invaded New York in the spring of 1990 and saddled Go and Go to win the Belmont Stakes.
The third “Breakfast at Arlington” program of the 2007 Arlington Park racing season is on tap Saturday in time to introduce Arlington’s “Million Preview Day” program later in the afternoon.
As the second biggest racing day of Chicago’s summer season, Saturday’s races include the Grade III Arlington Handicap as a local prep race for the 25th running of the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 11, the Grade III Modesty Handicap as a preview of the upcoming Grade I Beverly D. three weeks later, and the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s, as the middle leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple which concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on the second Saturday in August.
“Breakfast at Arlington” interviews are sure to include the racing connections of several of this weekend’s featured stakes runners, giving Arlington fans insight into some of the horses likely for Arlington’s International Festival of Racing.
Gates open Saturday at 7:30 a.m., and a buffet-style breakfast will be served from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Admission to the “Breakfast at Arlington” program is free, and the breakfast buffet is available at $7 for adults and $4 for children.
Veteran Illinois-based trainer Moises Yanez and jockey Cecilio Penalba, hanging his tack at Arlington for the first time this season, have formed a formidable team during recent race days at the Northwestern Chicago oval.
Last Saturday, Yanez saddled Hernandez Racing Club’s Amanda’s Desire to win the seventh with Penalba aboard, and the pair came right back to the winner’s circle in the eighth with Val and Bill Hunter’s Brave Hunter.
On Wednesday, Yanez took the fourth with Briana Racing Stable’s Souper, with Jose Ferrer up, but returned in the eighth with Moises Yanez and Hernandez Racing Club’s Voy Por Uno Mas with Penalba once again in the irons.
“We’ve been pretty lucky together,” said Yanez of his new association with Penalba. “He tries hard. I was introduced to him at Hawthorne last fall and I told him I’d use him a little bit. It’s worked out very well for us. He’s a nice guy, too.”
The season’s largest Pick 4 – a whopping $42,168.30 based on a $1 wager – lit up the Arlington tote board after Wednesday’s finale, won by George Pruette and Jan Nilsen’s Judge Colombo.
Trained by Jan Ely and ridden by Rafael Mojica, Judge Colombo also instigated the season’s largest Pick 3 ($10,168.10) and daily double ($1,643.80).
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